Home > Buildings & Plants > Buildings & Plants Partner List > Inver Grove Heights Community Schools

ENERGY STAR Leaders

Inver Grove Heights Community Schools

Logo for Inver Grove Heights Community Schools Inver Grove Heights , Minnesota
10% Improvement (2011)

 

The Inver Grove Heights Community Schools is a suburban school district with 3,800 students and nearly 500 staff housed across more than 700,000 square feet of space. The district has implemented energy savings measures not only to promote fiscal responsibility, but also to provide students and staff with the knowledge and inspiration to add environmental citizenship to their own lives. Since joining as a partner in 2010, participating in the ENERGY STAR program has greatly increased the district's ability to save funds needed for its educational mission and also provide this environmental education.

 

Inver Grove Heights Community Schools has received recognition from EPA as an ENERGY Leader for improving its energy efficiency by more than 10 percent across its portfolio of buildings. Compared to its baseline, the district has reduced energy between 14 and 25 percent at each building, with a total average across all buildings of 16.6 percent. These savings have prevented the emission of nearly 1,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, equivalent to planting 213 acres of pine trees or the emissions from almost 200 vehicles. These cost savings have allowed the district to use funds for direct education that would otherwise have gone toward utility expenses. The district has also channeled half of the savings to a technology program that enables staff and students to see the direct benefits of energy savings through incentives that result in updated computers in buildings based on how much energy they have savedsave energy, get a faster, better, more energy-efficient computer. The process is a three-pronged approach that has focused on equipment, building operations, and behavior. Energy-wasting mechanical and electrical equipment was replaced with newer, more efficient equipment (frequently using grant funding); building operators were trained in energy-efficient procedures for operating and maintaining mechanical systems; and, perhaps most importantly, staff and students have come together to transform energy-wasting behavior into conservation behavior, mostly by giving each other inspiration and mutual accountability. The School Board, Superintendent, administrative team, buildings and grounds staff, teaching and support staff, and the students are all integral parts of our energy efficiency team.